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Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

Students advocate for bill package as Lobby Month approaches

Beginning in May, the students of Lobby Corps will be traveling to the state capitol at least three times per week in order to lobby for their bill package.

Lobby Corps is an advocacy unit under ASUCD. The group works on behalf of UC Davis students at the state capitol to lobby for bills that will benefit the student body.

“All legislation is relative to higher education and looked at from a student’s perspective. They relate to three aims: transparency, affordability and accountability,” said Bihter Ozedirne, Director of Lobby Corps.

There are 10 bills that the students are lobbying for, all falling under the categories of corporation taxes, student financial aid, public postsecondary education and postsecondary education.

“Holding the UC Regents and respective administrations accountable will evaluate the quality of academics and services provided to students. Assembly Bill 2190 establishes a California Higher Education Authority which will monitor and report on the progress and quality of the postsecondary systems,” said Kevin Pascual, Internal Director of Lobby Corps. “The transparency aspect ensures that the public is made aware of all decisions made by the Regents including a public broadcast of all open meetings, and bridging the gap between campus law enforcement and students.”

Pascual said that two of the bills focus on providing more information on textbook sources and freezing administrative pay every time a tuition increase is approved.

Lobby Corps has been working on the bill package for the entire year. They usually choose around five to seven bills, but this year they are lobbying 10.

“I’m very happy with the bills we selected. The theme that all of the bills deal with are increasing higher education with students, bettering their experience by making it easier with tuition costs,” said Graciela Miller, Director of Publicity for Lobby Corps.

With Lobby Month quickly approaching, students are encouraged to get involved with Lobby Corps.

The proper training is provided and the group will be holding a forum on campus on May 1. Students are also provided with a Lobby Month training packet, which includes all of the bills and their descriptions.

“We meet every Wednesday at 7 p.m., in the Angelina Room in the Memorial Union (MU). Meetings are open to public. Anyone can come anytime and we accommodate with schedules. We have an open door policy,” Ozedirne said.

The other way students can be heard in support of reinvestment of higher education is through signing the current online letter campaign.

“The online letter campaign is a method for students to sign a letter to their state senators and assembly members representing their hometown and [urging] them to consider the importance of the UC system, not just to students but to the overall economy of the state. It is imperative that funding to public education must be restored to ensure that the best academic service is provided to all students,” Pascual said.

The letter campaign can be found on asucd.ucdavis.edu.

Ozedirne highlighted the benefits of getting involved with Lobby Corps.

“It is a great opportunity for any students interested in policy and government. Also, a great opportunity for networking. It’s really beneficial from the aspect of policy and professional networking,” Ozedirne said.

DANIELLE HUDDLESTUN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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